St Mary Magdalene's medieval chapel and associated earthworks, 90m north of Mauldin


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014744

Date first listed: 31-Dec-1987

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of St Mary Magdalene's medieval chapel and associated earthworks, 90m north of Mauldin
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Jan-2019 at 04:28:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Warkworth

National Grid Reference: NU 24765 05249


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

A medieval chapel is a building, usually rectangular, containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate for Christian worship in the pre- Reformation period. Chapels were designed for congregational worship and were generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provided accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which was the main domain of the priest and contained the principal altar. Around 4000 parochial chapels were built between the 12th and 17th centuries as subsidiary places of worship built for the convenience of parishioners who lived at a distance from the main parish church. Other chapels were built as private places of worship by manorial lords and lie near or within manor houses, castles or other high-status residences. Chantry chapels were built and maintained by endowment and were established for the singing of masses for the soul of the founder. Some chapels possessed burial grounds. Unlike parish churches, the majority of which remain in ecclesiastical use, chapels were often abandoned as their communities and supporting finances declined or disappeared. Many chantry chapels disappeared after the dissolution of their supporting communities in the 1540s. Chapels, like parish churches, have always been major features of the landscape. A significant number of surviving examples are identified as being nationally important. The sites of abandoned chapels, where positively identified, are particularly worthy of statutory protection as they were often left largely undisturbed and thus retain important information about the nature and date of their use up to their abandonment.

The site of the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene remains identifiable and will retain significant archaeological deposits. Excavation has confirmed that domestic buildings were originally associated with the chapel and further information on the wider complex will be preserved.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a post-Conquest medieval chapel situated on the highest point in the field north of Maudlin Farm. Around the chapel are several low earthwork features. An area to the north of the chapel was part excavated in 1977, prior to development for housing, but archaeological remains were destroyed before recording was completed. Domestic buildings associated with the chapel were uncovered and identified as a garderobe or latrine, solar or private chamber, and a hall; only the northern half of the hall was revealed and the southern part will lie in the unexcavated area north of the chapel. In 1980 the field containing the chapel was investigated by resistivity survey, which measures the passage of electric currents passed through the ground. This work revealed a dense area of masonry. The chapel, believed to date from the early 13th century, survives as a low sub-rectangular earthwork and measures 28m east-west by 14m north-south and stands to a maximum height of 0.5m. The western part of the interior is sunken and enclosed by banks 6m wide. Some stone is visible through the turf. To the north east of the chapel is a slight rectangular mound which measures 4m east- west by 5m north-south. Abutting the east side of this feature is a very slight earthwork bank 3m wide enclosing an area to the east of the chapel which measures 8m east-west by 11m north-south; the bank stands to a maximum height of 0.15m. The area immediately to the south of the chapel is slightly uneven indicating further buried remains survive there. On the south west side of the chapel, at a distance of 5m, is a sub-circular mound which measures 10.5m east-west by 12m north-south and stands 0.5m high. On the north west side of the chapel are very slight earthworks interpreted as remains of a rectangular building. The exact relationship of the chapel to the surrounding building is not yet fully understood. The Chapel of St Mary Magdalene was established by Robert fitz Roger, who died in 1214, and given by him to the prior and convent of Durham. The chapel is well documented through the medieval period and was still in existence in 1536. The post and wire fence to the north is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 24611

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hodgson, J C, 'Warkworth, Shilbottle, Brainshaugh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 5, (1899), 121-123
Pattinson, T, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Excavation of the Magdalene Chapel, Warkworth, Northum, 1977, , Vol. 5 ser 9, (1981), 251-265

End of official listing